This medical conspiracy miniseries is chock-full of celebrity supporting cast and a near-theatrical approach to the adaptation of Robin Cook’s novel, though that simply begs the question of the need for the 160 minute run time. Although I don’t imagine the demand would have been great for another theatrical film for Coma, I also think that a great deal of entertainment value could have been increased had there been somewhat more of a time constraint. The way it stands now, Coma is often a little too slow in revealing the twists in the plot, allowing the audience to figure them out long before the characters do.
Our investigative protagonist is Dr. Susan Wheeler (Lauren Ambrose of HBO’s “Six Feet Under”), a medical student who risks her career when she finds some discrepancies at the hospital she works at. After discovering that a number of patients all fell into comas after routine operations in the same room, Susan digs deeper to find out what is happening to the patients. The suspenseful investigation only becomes more dangerous the deeper that she digs.
With the help of a young surgeon (Steven Pasquale of “Rescue Me”), Susan traces the patients to a highly secretive medical facility. With this discovery it is more than just Susan’s career which is at risk, each revelation bringing forth more danger. The cast is full of seasoned actors such as Geena Davis and James Woods, with Ellen Burstyn and Richard Dreyfuss also giving special appearances. The miniseries is all included on one disc, with no special features included or called for.